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How to Optimize Protein With a Vegan Diet

I’m reposting this great infographic from Health Perch. Think this diet/ lifestyle is too hard? Try Meatless Mondays, then start integrating more veggie meals slowly. It’s not hard. If a ravenous carnivore like me can do it, you can too! And, bonus, your health will thank you. I dropped my cholesterol 66 points in less than a year just switching over, no meds or magic, just plant based food!

How to Optimize Protein With a Vegan Diet
“How to Optimize Protein With a Vegan Diet” on Health Perch

Congrats, Scott Jurek!

scottrecordWhat else is there really to say, other than congratulations!

Scott is an inspiration to so many already, including myself, this feat just raised his profile even more so. He has proven the human spirit is capable of anything. He has proven that the body, with proper training and nutrition, can achieve greatness at any level.

As plant based folk, we can all rally behind the fact he has been plant based for 16 years. But, I don’t want to minimize his accomplishment and say that should somehow be the rallying cry. Sure, it’s a slap in the face to the protein myth folk, but this achievement is so beyond one’s protein intake or the amount of carbs. He did what worked for HIM, that is what mattered. He set out to achieve this goal, as icing on the cake of an amazing endurance running career.

There are folks out there that are also questioning his time on the trail. They say he was too quick. They say he missed the point of a thru-hike. What? Are you the Appalachian Trail police? Does he have to do it a certain way to meet your qualifications? What are those qualifications? How about this, you worry about you. Let others achieve their own goals. Let other’s choose to live their lives the way THEY want to without your holier than thou attitude.

Scott, and I doubt you will read this, what you have done is beyond the pale. There are only a few that would even conceive of the idea to attempt this feat. You are an inspiration to many. A hero to more than a few. Us mere mortals bow to your greatness and cannot wait to read about your adventure. When does the book come out??

I stumbled upon awesomeness!!

So I am out of my usual Vega protein that I really love. I have a tub of Garden Of Life though so I check to see what else I had. There it was… some Vega Accelerator. The simple equation hit me, add the two and maybe, just maybe, it’d taste like a creamsicle. Vanilla and tropical flavors should at least be close right? It worked and I am a friggin genius! (just kidding, not kidding)

Recovery done right!!

vegagardenoflifeOrange Creamsicle

2 cups water
1 scoop Vega recovery accelerator (tropical)
1 scoop Garden of Life raw protein (vanilla)
6 ice cubes

Shake it up and BAM!! Liquid gold!

 

Veganism, are you doing it wrong?!

Passion is a good thing.

It gives you purpose.

It drives you.

But sometimes, it can make you seem like a condescending a-hole!

I’ve known vegetarians and vegans my whole life. I’ve met a wide range of personalities within both lifestyles. Most are caring, kind and considerate. That said, the one thing that seems to be growing in the movement though is the righteous indignation of those that somehow think their cause is better than others.

I was listening to a new podcast today that was recommended to me. I couldn’t finish an entire podcast! Yeah, the vitriol for anything non-vegan was palpable at best. I listened to this podcast episode in particular because one of the hosts had run with a team of runners at the recent Ragnar I ran. I also met the folks she was running with at one of the stops. None of them seemed as catty as the women in this podcast.

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Recipe: Twice Baked Potatoes w/ Asparagus

Apologies in advance, this was such a hit I was not able to take a picture in time before my family annihilated this meal. My son had a friend over, and sometimes that can not go over well when they are faced with a dinner that’s not normal to them. His friend though devoured it and went back for seconds. Anyway… Here’s what I got.

6-8 Russet Potatoes
1 1/2 cups of Broccoli crowns
5 strips Smoky Maple Bacon Marinated Tempeh
1/2 cup Go Veggie! Mexican shreds
1 tsp Earth Balance Coconut spread
1/2 cup Silk Cashew Milk
30-35 spears of fresh Asparagus

I cooked the potatoes for about 60 minutes on 350 degrees. At the same time, during the last 5 minutes, I steamed the broccoli. I also pan cooked the tempeh (in the coconut spread), which I had diced beforehand so that way it resembled “bacon bits” when done.

After taking the potatoes out and letting them cool a bit, I cut them length wise and carved out the center.

All the extra potato went into a bowl with the broccoli (which I chopped up). Once they were all carved out, I added the cashew milk to the bowl, the tempeh was added as was the mexican shreds.

I spooned the filling back into the potato skins, sprinkled with a little bit more of the shreds, and put them back in the oven for another 15 minutes. While they cooked, I prepped the asparagus and when the final 5 minutes was ticking down on the potatoes, I steamed the asparagus.

I plated it all and it was gone in a few minutes. This meal went much better than I hoped and it’s now been added to out repertoire.

Tofurky Beer Brats and Spinach Pesto Sausage

SpinachPestoBlackSleeve-300It’s been a while since I’ve had Tofurky, but I remember I’ve always enjoyed it. I’ve been interested in going back to purchasing vegan options for meat replacement products, and Tofurky has always been at the top of the list as far as pushing their product further.

As I’ve made the transition to a plant based diet, and my family has tried to as well, it’s been tough on my youngest son. For whatever reason, he still feels like he needs to have a “meat” like item on his plate, especially at dinner. We started using quinoa for tacos, but he didn’t like that. We tried Morningstar crumbles instead and he was sold. Hmm, we thought, how bout Tofurky? We had liked it before and now they had a lot of the flavor profiles we had been eating in the past.

brats1I had the opportunity to try the Spinach Pesto Sausage and the Beer Brats. I sliced up the sausage and pan fried it like I normally would and served it with rice and a veggie. Both my boys and I agree, this sausage was fantastic. Not only did it have the texture and “snap” of a sausage, it also had the flavor profile. Best part about it? My little guy agreed it was great and he annihilated what I had served to him. Kid-friendly? Heck yes! Bonus points to the fact it was not meat!

I made the Beer Brats as close to how I would have made brats years ago. My boys requested orange peppers, so I sliced some up, tossed them and some onions in a pan and cooked them down a bit. Before they were completely mushy, I added the brats on top, covered the pan and let it cook up for a bit.

After they steamed up a bit, I pulled em out & sliced em up. I then added them back to the pan and turned the heat up a bit to get some nice color. All the while I had cooked up some plain white quinoa.

brats2This was another hit. My older son and I agreed that when we are out at cook outs this summer, these brats will certainly be coming with us. And my little guy? Yeah he ate every bite again. I’ve been up front with him and let him know it’s faux meat. He was apprehensive at first, so honestly, I was non-descript with him when we  made the initial transition. Now that he knows these products taste good, I have been able to get him to open up to new things.

Thank you Tofurky not only for great products that are healthy and ethically viable, but for making it easier on families to make the transition to a lifestyle many of us are proud of living.

Website: http://www.tofurky.com/

Guest Recipe: Ultra Energy Bars

In advance of the upcoming book, “The Plantpower Way”, I have been given the opportunity to share one of the recipes. For those not in the know, the book is written by Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. A review will be coming soon here, but here’s a break down from the info you can already get on the web.

“The Plantpower Way” is a recipe book in the plant based/ vegan category. Right, another one! What Rich and Julie have done, and where they hope to break some new ground, is to offer a recipe book that answers the questions…

So what do you guys actually eat?
How do I start?
How can I get my kids to make healthier choices?
Is it possible to eat well on a budget?
How can I make delicious, nutritious meals without spending all day in the kitchen?
And of course…Where do you get your protein?

from – http://www.richroll.com/blog/introducing-the-plantpower-way/

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Review: The Best Green Smoothies On The Planet ( + giveaway)

green smoothi** giveaway details at bottom**

Nowadays you see “green smoothie” this and “green smoothie” that. One person tells you that they are good for you and that you can become healthier by drinking more of them. The one thing they don’t do is tell you how and why!

Tracy not only explains the how and the why, she breaks down each ingredient for it’s health benefit. For instance, one of my favorite recipes in the book is the Coconut Peach Smoothie.

Why? Because it’s calcium rich without having to consume dairy products to get it! It’s only four simple ingredients so it’s super easy to make!

Coconut Peach Smoothie
2 peaches, pitted
1/2 mango, peeled and pitted
3 large chard leaves, stems removed
4 oz unsweetened coconut milk

This smoothie is packed with 13% of the days calcium!

Even more detailed, here’s what else it is packed with. Calories: 245 • fat: 4g • protein: 7g • carbs: 53g • vitamin a • 90% • vitamin c: 145%

Peaches are a good source of Vitamin A and C. Mangoes are a powerhouse and contain Vitamins A, B, C and E. They are also packed with 11% of your needed omega-3s! And Swiss chard is a great source of beta-carotene and Vitamin K. Naturally, it provides a decent source for sodium.

I didn’t have to research any of that. It’s all in the book.

Tracy isn’t trying to sell you something, she’s trying to provide you with the best ingredients for your health and your health goals.

I’m looking forward to making more smoothies from this book and hope you will try it as well.

As a matter of fact, the publisher has agreed to let me give away one copy to a lucky reader! Just comment on this post and I will pick one winner, at random, after 24 hours! Good luck!

Green Lotus Cafe: Cape Cod’s First (and finest) Vegan/ Veggie Cafe

originalCape Cod Magazine just released it’s “Top People To Watch in 2015” and one of my favorite people has been chosen. His name is Nate Fanara and he is the owner of the Green Lotus Cafe, which is located at 349 Main St in Hyannis.

natelotusThe Green Lotus is Cape Cod’s first truly vegan/ vegetarian cafe and serves up breakfast and lunch. I’ve tried convincing him to do dinner, but we need small steps here as we want everyone to know about this place.

Nate is an amazing cook. Not only that, but he’s got a fantastic personality and isn’t afraid to take time out to chat while he’s blending up a smoothie, dishing out some soup or whatever else he has going on.

In 2014 he was a speaker at the 2014 Boston Vegetarian Food Festival where he wowed fest goers with his vegan version of New England Clam Chowdah!

Did I mention he’s also a triathlete and has finished an Ironman? That’s pretty bad-ass in my book.

The cafe’s following is getting bigger and bigger, and Nate’s passion for plant based food is becoming more and more well known. You can go in there any day and see all sorts of people still trying it out for the first time, or regulars coming back for their favorite dishes.

green collageI’ve been there numerous times and have had a couple different soups. The 3 Potato Chowder is my favorite soup, hence the reason the pic over there on your right has an empty cup. It was so goooood I couldn’t wait for my camera app to load.

My fave sandwich so far is The Maui which is creamy avocado spread, coconut bacon, pineapple relish, tomatoes, lettuce, sprouts on a house baked 7 grain. I can hands down crush probably 2 or 3 of these sandwiches, but I can refrain… I will just have another one the next day! 😛

Why does it have to be 10pm right now, I’m hungry? See, Nate, this is why you need to be opened late!

Either way, if you are on Cape Cod, planning a trip to Cape Cod or whatever, you need to make a stop in and see Nate and the rest of the Green Lotus crew. I PROMISE you will not be disappointed!

Check out their website:
http://greenlotuscafe.com/

Or stop by at:
349 Main St.
Hyannis, MA. 02601

Vegan “Fast-food”?

Editors note: This is somewhat of a parody/ comedy piece. It’s not directed at any particular person or persons. If it bothers you, than maybe it was directed at you. The point to this post is to expose a little of the hypocrisy of some folks that are so committed to a movement that they have lost the point of said movement… Anyway…

moooovealong

Yesterday I read an article on Vegan.com that gave some tips to vegans on what fast food chains had menu items that were convenient to the lifestyle. You can read it here http://www.vegan.com/fast-food/.

I joined the discussion on their Facebook page and it became clear to me that my opinion was not welcome. Like most movements though, it’s either tow the party line or get out. So I got out… and fast!

Why was I being attacked? I was simply pointing out the fact that “Vegan Fast-food” is an oxymoron, one of the largest actually. Do they really think that rolling up to Taco Bell and ordering a bean burrito that they are making some ethically correct choice? Are you kidding me? Do you know what’s in that?

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